Defense Leads Pioneers Past Vikings
The Alfred State College defense came up with big plays as the Pioneers held on to defeat Hudson Valley CC 13-12. The win improves ASC to 4-2 on the season and 1-2 in NFC play.
Alfred State scored the lone points of the first half when Brett Harrington (Rochester/Edison) recovered a fumble and returned it 30-yards for the score. The fumble, on an option play, was forced by Damion King Jr. (Detroit, MI/Madison Heights). Josh Franchina's (Cassadaga Valley) extra point made it 7-0.
HVCC cut the lead to 7-3 on their opening possesion of the second half when David Fox connected on a 38-yard field goal.
After a Sir Aaron Taylor (West Chester/Lincoln Hall) interception put the ball on the HVCC five yard line, Kevin Wilkes (Frederick, MD/Urbana) scampered in to make it 13-3 with 4:42 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
Fox cut the lead to 13-6 when he connected on a 23 yard field goal with 1:25 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
Hudson Valley made it even closer with 10 minutes remaining in the contest when Sidiq Soulemana picked off a pass and returned it 31-yards to cut it to 13-12. The ensuing PAT was blocked.
The Alfred State defense did the rest stopping Hudson Valley in their final three drives to seal the victory.
Chadd Parker (Erie, PA/Fort Lebouef) led the defense with 13 tackles and a sack while Kyle Ricks (Alexandria, VA/Mt. Vernon) finished with 10 tackles and a 22-yard sack. Taylor and King both finished with nine tackles. King added a drive-ending interception in the first half. Harrington chipped in seven tackles, Justin Smith (Richmond, VA/CD Hylton) had seven tackles, and Randall Wilkie (Buffalo/East) finished with seen tackles and two sacks.
The Pioneer defense allowed 166 total yards on the game (125 rushing to Kenny Youngs on 25 carries) and forced three turnovers.
Alfred's offense never got going as they were held to six first downs and 136 total yards. Cody Scepaniak (Vestal) rushed for 37 yards and passed for 40 while Austin Henchey (Unatego) provided a spark in the second half with 34 yards rushing on four carries.
The victory was the Pioneers first on-field victory over Hudson Valley CC since 2002 (ASC was awarded a forfeit victory after their contest vs. HVCC in 2009). The victory is also the blue & gold's first Northeast Football Conference victory since 2007 (27-6 victory over Berean Institute).
The Pioneers begin a two-game road trip next Saturday when they travel to Lackawanna College for a 1 p.m. start with the Falcons.